INNERMOST RITE OF EGYPTIAN TEMPLES 169
The key came to me with the sudden remembrance of my personal experience inside the KiAg's Chamber of the Great Pyramid, when out of the blackness of night there had arisen the vision of two High Priests, one of whom had entranced my body and led my conscious spirit out of its grip. My sleeping body had lain practically in a coma, enlivened only by the most imperceptible unconscious breathing, while the really vital element of it had escaped. I was as a dead man whose soul had quitted his body. Yet, at the end of my experience, I returned to the flesh and the aspect of death had vanished. Was this not a veritable resurrection; a return to this terrene existence of ours after a glimpse of the other state? Was this not a conscious existence after death?
I got up and re-examined the wall-pictures to confirm the illumination I had received. The outstretched Osiris lay apparently dead, a seemingly embalmed body in a mummy-wrapping, yet everything pointed to a preparation for a ceremony that would benefit a living man and not a dead one. Yes; there was the entranced body of the candidate, there were the attendant priests, and there the censers to render the entrancement more easy.
There were the night-prayers, too. For these initiations always took place with the onset of darkness. The candidate was entranced for periods of varying length—the more advanced the degree for which he had entered, the longer and deeper was his entrancement—and priests watched pver him during such hours of the night as had been allotted to him.
Such was the scene which had been enacted in the rituals of Mysteries since immemorial antiquity. And its meaning? The murder of Osiris was none other than the apparent murder of every candidate who wished to partake of the Mysteries of Osiris; that is, become united with the spirit of Osiris, founder of those Mysteries.
In the oldest temples there was always a twofold plan in the architectural arrangement, and every temple had two divisions: f i) for ordinary religion, (2) for the secret Mysteries. The latter was reserved completely and placed in a special part of the sanctuary.
The candidate was plunged by hypnotic means, involving the use of powerful fumigants as well as mesmeric passes the length of his body, comoined with the use of a magically impregnated rod, into a death-like trance wherein he was